Super Portable, Super Loud, Long Lasting, Battery Powered Speakers

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Intro: Super Portable, Super Loud, Long Lasting, Battery Powered Speakers

ever wanted to have a powerful speaker system for those inpromtue garden parties/field raves. many will say this is a redundant Instructable, as there are many boombox style radios from days gone by cheaply available, or these cheap ipod style mp3 docking stations that run on batteries.
I strongly disagree with this statement, boomboxes are huge and eat batteries, docking stations are weak and sound poor. so for the best of both worlds, I present to you my portable rave speakers.

I built these speakers to meet these specifications:

-compact, for easy, in a back pack transport
-powerful, for punchy clear audio to get those outdoors raves going
-long run time, who wants to stop raving ?

Step 1:

First step as always is, what do you need?

Components:
-speaker cones (take them out of a couple of sets of computer speakers)
-amplifier chip (see next step for details)
-1Mohm potentiometer
-3.5mm audio jack
-2 * 470nf capacitors
- a 220 micro F capacitor
-2 5kohm resistors
-high capacity set of batteries (12-18v 4000mah+)
-the best heatsink you gan get

tools:
-soldering iron
-dremel (or equivalent)
-wire cutters

Other materials:
-lots of assorted shrink tubing (electrical insulation)
-solder
-small project box (altiods tin would suffice)
-a good length of good quality wire.
-battery connectors of choice (I chose deans "t" connectors)
-thermal greese

Step 2: Chosing the Right Combination of Components

this step is to ensure that you don't go and buy components that are mis-matched.
the first thing that I found were the cones, I found these laying around my house. once you have your speakers open them up to see the cones themself, they should have a power rating and a resistance printed on the back, take note of these.

with the rating on the back of the speakers choose an appropriate amplifier chip, for me I had lot of 4 3.6W 4ohm cones, I decided to put them into two series connected sets, this gave me two satellite speakers each with a rating of 7.2W and 8ohms, the chip I found to match this was the TDA7057AQ, a quick search on farnell/digikey will find one to match your cones.

The amplifier chip will have a maximum input voltage in the data sheet, find the largest capacity battery you can that conforms to these voltage limits, I went with two 4 cell lipo batteries each with a capacity of 2250mAh wired in parallel to make a 4 cell pack with capacity 4500mAh

now you have all the major components worked out you can start the build.

Step 3: Start the Building

ok below is the schematic that i followed for the chip stated erlier, a simple schematic will be included in the datasheet of the amplifier you purchased (the schematic posted hear was not done by me it was in the datasheet)

start making the relevant connections to the chip, i would reccomend measuring the size of your project box so that you dont make the connecting wires obsesivly short or long. make all of the connections to the chip first so that a length of shrink tubing can be sliped on from the unsoldered side of the wire (this way ensures that the pins on the chip are all well insulated, as this is the biggest concern for shorting as the pins can be very close together)

after all your wires are connected to the chip and the heat shrink is shrunk, connect the external components, i used a copper strip board piece to organise the small number of capacitors needed for this circuit, a neat job will help prevent accidental shorts. make sure the wires connecting the potentiometer are of a length that permits a comfortable mounting within the box.

Step 4: Making the Amplifier Housing

In the project box that you have you will need to mark out a section to be cut out to allow the chip heatsink to pertrude. A hole for the potentiometer to pertrude and holes for the jack wire speaker wires and the power cables. For the cable holes use a drill with a 4mm bit, for the heatsink the best tool is a dremel type tool with one of the reddish thin cutting disks, around the heatsink hole you will also need to drill a couple of holes for bolts to secure the heatsink.

Step 5: Making the Speakers

The method i used to produce the speakers was very simple, cutting 4 strips of aluminium with the demel and drilling holes in ether end of each so that i could bolt a pair of cones inbetween two strips of aluminium, this holds the cones secure enough, and it has a kind of minimalism about it.

Step 6: Connect the External Connectors and Attach the Heatsink

run the appropriate cables throutgh the appropriate holes and solder on the connectors, the 3.5mm headphone jack and the deans "t" power connectors. Also connect the speaker wires to the speakers.

The last part of amplifier assembly is to drill a pair of holes in the heatsink rouhgly in the middle to recieve the chip, apply some thermal paste inbetween the chip and the heatsink and bolt the chip to the heatsink through the mounting holes. bolt the heatsink to the case.

Step 7: Connect Mp3 Player and Test

Apply power to the power leads and plug in the 3.5mm jack making sure that the volume on the mp3 player is on minimum, increase the volume a small amount on the mp3 player, so that you can hear quiet music then on the potentiometer find which way is volume up and which is volume down. Next slowly increase the volume on the mp3 player and on the potentiometer so that when the mp3 player is on maximum volume the speakers are as loud as you dare go! (if they are starting to distort that is loud enough).

Step 8: Box It Up

This step is more of a convenience as hopefully your speakers are already working! I found a cardboard box that looked to be the right size to house everything, it was an ex-computer game box as far as I know, but it is plane white. put the lid on the box and make some box strapping out of some long zip ties (these stop the box opening unnecessarily on your travels)

Step 9: Rave It Up

Get raving! the speakers can be used whilst they are still in the box for convenience or the speakers removed for improved stereo sound.

Now you can throw these in your bag on your travels and you will have over 6 hours of playtime on full volume (yes I have done run time test )
6 hours - that sure does beat the 1.5 hours supplied by my old boom box with an unreasonable amount of d cell batteries, and mine can be recharged thousands of times!

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    109 Discussions

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    jleo1

    1 year ago

    this is nice. im going to build one using a car starter pack that also puts out 12/16/19v and has a usb. if the light on it is bright enough im going to mount it at the front so its a torch as well otherwise i will include a powerful 12v light. my idea is to have a drawer with the leads underneath so it can still jump cars or charge phones etc. i was thinking of using srs-z500 pc speakers which are 9v but only 3w for simplicity. the pack is 16800mah so i assume it should last a while

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    sparshenator

    2 years ago

    https://www.instructables.com/community/Super-BAG/
    please help!

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    M0DC3T

    4 years ago on Introduction

    Is it passible to use 150W speakers with TDA7057AQ?

    I'm using the next components:

    1x Capicitor: 220µF 10v220µF

    2x Capicitor: µ47k63

    1x Potmeter 6MM AS 1M

    1x Female jack 3,5mm

    2x 4.7 Kohms, +/-5%

    1x HQ Sealed Rechargeable battery 12V5Ah/20hr

    2 replies
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    D.g.RM0DC3T

    Reply 3 years ago

    How did that work out? I know it seems to be two years past, but did you figure a way to get it right?

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    M0DC3TD.g.R

    Reply 3 years ago

    Yes but it was not that loud. I guess parallel wiring of 3 chips will do the work.

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    bassbindevil

    7 years ago on Introduction

    I'm just going to suggest buying a "class T" amp from eBay. As cheap as $12 shipping included, and all you have to add is the volume control. Very efficient, yet capable of over 10 real watts into 4 ohms. If you want to go fancy, $20 gets you an amp in a case with knobs, ready to bolt on. Search on TA2020 or TA2024 and amplifier.

    And, don't overlook scrapped CRT TVs as a source of speakers. Also, if you're a real scrounger, an amplifier: on one Sony I found in the woods, the audio amp chip was on a corner of the circuit board and I was able to break off that section with my bare hands.

    5 replies
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    polopbassbindevil

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    ebay amplifiers are all well and good, I have tinkered in the past, they don't really cut it compared to "the real deal" from 41hz, nor will rescued speakers preform aswell as speakers with accurate data sheets with well defined values, also speakers that other [people have used are a good place to start. This instructable is a little out of date with my audio beliefs now. for me 41hz amplifier HiFi speakers and lithium polymer bateries are a match made in heaven. some of my more recent creations are attached

    DSC00408.JPGDSC00454.JPG
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    D.g.Rpolop

    Reply 3 years ago

    I want that white box!

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    bassbindevilpolop

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    OK. Well, I was going by what was presented here, which was a linear chip amp and random speakers, apparently without either baffles or stuffing. (Baffles prevent the bass frequencies from the front and rear of the speaker cancelling each other out. Stuffing suppresses internal box resonances so the midrange doesn't honk, and also makes the box behave as if it were larger at bass frequencies.) Hifi speakers are obviously better, and can often be found for crazy prices at yard sales and thrift stores (Energy, $6 a pair, Minimus 7, $10 a pair). If someone wants "loud", look at using smallish pro audio midwoofers, like 8" to 10" Eminence Alpha or Betas, or some (hopefully) comparable (cheaper, anyway) MCM Audio Select. A somewhat larger cabinet will be required but higher efficiency and deeper bass should be worth it.

    I suggested a T-amp because if you order a TDA7057AQ from someplace, it'll cost almost as much as one of the TDA2024 amp boards. And the TDA7057AQ doesn't appear to be rated to drive 4 ohm loads, which limits the choice of speakers and means that 2 per side (as shown) may not be a good idea.

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    polopbassbindevil

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    I agree, If you are in Europe (which is unlikely due to the use of $) go to 41hz.com and buy an amp6 - cost more than $4 but definitely worth it if in the US you can get the class T amplifiers pre-assembled on ebay (but they won't be as good as a high quality kit - due to the cost cutting Chinese-ness ) then use some 4" hifi full range speakers (if you want compact) or like above some pro-audio 8" in a nice box and the musical world is your oyster!

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    sjoobbanipolop

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Old car amps work well too! i got two mono amps, very small, very simple, very HQ for $4, I use it in my DJ set up for lights haha

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    mhermeščec

    6 years ago on Introduction

    Great job!
    I can see that you are very ambitious, so if you wanna build some much more louder BOOMBOXES i can send you all the shematics, i have done some of it and when i came to school even the profesors were impressed how loud and how clear it was and how simple the amplifier was. It has 2*45Watts RMS on 12V battery. You can check the datasheet of IC it is called TDA7375A that one is stereo version, if you want to go quad there is TDA7386 i reccomend these two they are very simple to build and the quality of sound is amazing.
    BTW. Sorry if my english is bad because im from Croatia.

    3 replies
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    polopmhermeščec

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    HI there, indeed I am very ambitious! as you can see this instructable is nearly 2.5 years old. Since this publication I have moved onto some interesting things. The amplifier that you linked to is indeed a very good simple option, I guess it is cheap as well. you need to be careful reading looking at the output power ratings, indeed it can output 45W per channel on a 12v battery (14.4v completely full), but it would sound very bad. This is because that rating is given at 10% distortion using a square wave (ie not really music :p). If you look into the issue a bit more (have a look at page 7/14 on the data sheet, on the THD% vs Pout graph for 14.4V vin - BTL into 4ohm) you will see that actually using the highest battery voltage into 4ohm speakers will only give you around 15W before the distortion (THD%) starts to go up very quickly. When it gets to about 0.1% it is time to give up if you are wanting the best quality sound. Then of course 2* 15W is very loud really (as I am sure you have witnessed first hand with your speakers).
    So everybody is happy - apart from your battery, and this is where the class of amplifier you are using lets you down. Yours is a class A/B. There is lots of information around about what that specifically means but the issue is that this class of chip usually uses more power than is necessary when there is no output (actually it is much better than a lot of classes). Yours uses around 150mA just sitting there, or 2.16W (0.15A * 14.4V) that is allot of power not doing anything useful to us. Seeing as a major component of music is silence in-between sounds or low level sounds (in between bass thumps for example). So where am I going with this? is there a more efficient amplifier that is clearer? of course there is otherwise I wouldn't have written such a long post. Look at this amplifier http://shop.41hz.com/shop/item.asp?catid=42&itemid=43 . The output power at comparable distortion is the same as your amplifier but the power drawn quiescently (no sound) is much lower (64mA*13.4V = 0.86W) and in fact the measurement on my sample is actually 0.5W. so this is around 4 times the efficiency of yours when there is no sound, this matters less and less as you put the power up - at maximum power (15W if you want it to sound nice) there is little difference I expect, but the AMP6 will sound clearer generally. So if you find you use your speakers for BBQs/just chilling allot (rather than booming and raving) I would recommend you use an AMP6. If however you are using it exclusively for raving I would advise buying two Amp6's or one AMP9 and building the speakers in the style of http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/class-d/104402-boominator-another-stab-ultimate-party-machine.html . That link is probably to the most professional DIY boombox on the net. sorry for the very long post - hopefully we can inspire each other:)

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    mhermeščecpolop

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    thanx for the idea, an i agree with you for the power consumption, but the sound ist that disorted even on the loudest setting if the speakers can handle it and since i dont have much money this option was more suitable for me

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    joshvonnieda

    5 years ago on Step 2

    Just a note if you really want super loud maybe upgrade on the speakers. I built something similar in a pelican case marine grade polk speakers and a rockford punch 30 amp. This thing is LOUD. Powered by a 20aH sla. Runs all night when fully charged. Wish i had your battery setup as mine is heavy.

    1 reply
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    D.g.Rjoshvonnieda

    Reply 3 years ago

    I would like to be able to recreate what you did. I need the volume!

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    cbutler12

    3 years ago

    is it possible to replace a TDA7057 with something like a TDA2030 and the 270 nf with a 220 nf capaciter like the 2A104J or 2A224J, if so please upload a schematic, and get back to me asap

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    WilliamH8

    3 years ago on Step 2

    I am kind of new to amplifiers, so is it ok if I ask a few questions?

    1. Are channels the same current (and could you explain from the beginning what they are)

    2. I looked back on the other comments and I cant work out if its ok to get a more wattage and ohmage on the amplifier to the speaker?

    hi, polop it will be helpful for me ,if you upload a video, how to wire the whole system, i am making the same thing for my project work in my school and i have already bought all the things as instructed by you. so please keep my words ,or otherwise i will have to lose marks.